Easy-Breezy Tips to Get Black Men to Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Good Tips for the Whole Family
You know by now that adults should be eating six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables daily. You also know that knowing is not doing. It’s not easy changing your diet from one that has convenience food and junk food. We know that most Americans are more likely to eat fruits in the morning and vegetables in the evening. What is the family cook supposed to do?
Get creative and sneak the fruits and vegetables in the diet. This is something we [nurses, dieticians] teach people to do if they have cancer or other debilitating illness to get the nutrients they need in their diet. You can do the same thing, too. Below are ten tips to creatively enhance your man’s and family’s diet without a fuss.
10 Easy-Breezy Tips
1. A breakfast smoothie. My son loves these. He will buy either fresh or frozen fruits, add almond milk and ice in the blender I bought for him on his birthday. Sometimes he adds a scoop of whey protein for a power smoothie. Then he presses blend and there you go. Instead of almond milk you can use regular milk, yogurt, or ice cream.
2. Dried fruit is one of my favorites. I will buy several types of trail mix that have dried fruits only or a combination of dried fruits, granola, and nuts. Sometimes I eat this as part of breakfast or for a snack. When I was a child, I liked the individual snack box of raisins. The yogurt -covered raisins are delicious and come in a variety of flavors.
3. Add fruit to breakfast staples like oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, waffles, or muffins. I like bananas in my oatmeal. One of my friends add blue berries to her pancakes. I am not an oatmeal person, but my husband liked oatmeal. He would buy the flavor variety of instant oatmeal. To enhance the flavor of whatever fruit variety chosen add an extra scoop of the fruit variety chosen. You can cook the extra fruit in microwave along with the oatmeal or add it immediately after the oatmeal has cooked.
3. Stack fruits and/or vegetables on your sandwich. Take a tip from Subway. Lay out a smorgasbord of fruits and vegetable, like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, and any other vegetables your family will eat, to add to your sandwiches. I have seen people put sliced banana, apples, or strawberry on a peanut butter sandwich. Don’t forget the whole grain bread, cheese, and condiments.
4. Have a side salad that includes lettuce, vegetables, cheese, croutons, and low-fat dressing at lunch or dinner.
5. Buy an assortment of 100% juice like orange juice, grape juice, cranberry juice, and other juices your family likes to drink. You can buy them individually or by the gallon. Do not buy a fruit juice cocktail as many of them only have 10% fruit juice.
6. Dress up a fruit dessert by adding ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with granola. When I was a nurse educator, I would meet my students for preclinical and I would take this breakfast dessert with me. My students tried it and their kids tried it. They loved it.
8. Occasionally add an exotic or tropical fruit and vegetable to quirk your family’s curiosity. They may be a little apprehensive at first. One of my rules for my children was that they had to eat one spoonful of a new fruit or vegetable. If they do not like it then they do not have to eat any more. Try tropical fruits like papaya, mango, star fruit, and dragon fruit first. Then add plantains which look like bananas. Try adding vegetables like eggplant, artichokes, zucchini squash, or butternut squash and any other vegetables in the produce department of your local store.
9. Soup in cold or damp weather is a comfort food for many people. Make a big pot of vegetable soup or stew that’s heavy on veggies and has lean meat.
10. Make a rainbow plate with colorful fruits and vegetables such as leafy green vegetables, red and orange fruits or vegetables along with a whole grain starch (brown colored). If you include meat make sure it is lean meat such as ground beef that is 93% lean and 7% fat.
Try a few of these tips. It won’t take long before your man and family to begin eating more fruits and vegetables and say bye-bye to unhealthy foods.
A win-win tip:
Plant a garden and get the whole family involved. They will love eating their own produce.